Is 1883: The Bass Reeves Story a Prequel or a Sequel and How It Fits in Yellowstone Timeline?

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Taylor Sheridan has created something quite unique with his Yellowstone universe. It became the most sought-for TV show in the US, and the spin-offs just keep coming, and the universe keeps expanding. Although the first spin-off, 1883, had a closed ending, it seems that another season of action is on its way with 1883: The Bass Reeves Story. So, is it a sequel or a prequel to 1883?

1883: The Bass Reeves Story also referred to as just ‘Bass Reeves,’ is sort of a spinoff or an offshoot of the 1883 series but will serve as the show’s second season. It’ll follow Bass Reeves, a real-life first-ever Black U.S. Marshall, and federal peace officer west of the Mississippi.

The show will not include any of the cast members from 1883, nor will it revolve around the Duttons. It’s unclear how much of a connection it’ll have with 1883 in the first place, other than giving us a peek through the window of the same era. If you want to learn how The Bass Reeves Story fits into the Yellowstone universe, you’re in the right place.

Is 1883: The Bass Reeves Story a sequel or a prequel to 1883?

bass reeves 1883

As we have mentioned in the introduction, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story will serve as the second season of the first Yellowstone spinoff (or prequel) shows 1883. You shouldn’t really call 1883 a spinoff, though, according to the creator, Taylor Sheridan, who shared his thoughts with Deadline:

“I don’t think of any of these as spinoffs but rather as complete stories that have common roots. My goal with the next one would be that you could never have seen 1883 or Yellowstone and still have a fully realized experience as a viewer.”

That ‘next one’ was the show that’s currently streaming on Paramount Plus, called 1923. Not only did the 1883 Season 1 finish with quite a closed ending, but the first episode of 1923 explained quite meticulously what had happened in the forty years between the show. Ergo, the possibility of a second season of 1883 was essentially non-existent.

However, the show was an absolute smash hit, even among those who had never watched Yellowstone. So, the producers wanted more. As Sheridan explained:

“They’re like, there better be a f**king season two because we already picked it up. I’m sitting here going, ‘Guys, everyone is dead.’”

Long story short, that’s how the idea for 1883: The Bass Reeves Story was born. While it may serve as the second season, an offshoot, or a spinoff (we’re sorry, Taylor, we know you don’t like that word) of 1883, The Bass Reeves Story won’t revolve around the Duttons or the Yellowstone Ranch. In fact, the entire cast will be completely different, and most likely, even the location. 

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The period in which the story will take place and the Sheridan-led Western drama will likely be the only connections between the shows. Take it with a grain of salt, as we still don’t know exactly how the stories will connect and how Bass Reeves will tie into the Sheridanverse, aka the Yellowstone Universe.

We do know that David Oyelowo will portray Bass Reeves, the titular character and that Dennis Quaid will join the cast as his coworker, a Deputy U.S. Marshall named Sherrill Lynn. Seeing that this new story also carries the ‘1883’ mantle, I’m guessing it will be happening at the same time as the 1883 show.

So, it’s not really a prequel nor a sequel but rather a separate story happening simultaneously with the events of 1883. Again, how connected – if anyhow – they’ll be, remains to be seen.

What will 1883: The Bass Reeves Story be about?

1883: The Bass Reeves Story will be the first show within the Yellowstone universe that’s actually based on a true story – or a real-life character, at least. Bass Reeves is a real, prominent historical figure.

He was the first African American U.S. Marshall, a cowboy, and a peace officer west of the Mississippi, patrolling the entire Oklahoma territory. The story of the show will be heavily based on his life and work and will likely not include the Dutton family at all.

Now, knowing Taylor Sheridan and his incredible writing, I’m positive that he’ll throw in some connections for Yellowstone and 1883 fans, but the thing is, Sheridan always tries to make every one of his shows capable of standing on its own. The official logline for The Bass Reeves story states:

“Known as the greatest frontier hero in American history, Reeves worked in the post-Reconstruction era as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory, capturing over 3,000 of the most dangerous criminals without ever being wounded.”

I can’t wait to see what Sheridan has in store for us, but if you’re expecting another Dutton family ranch show, you won’t find it here.

How does 1883: The Bass Reeves Story fit in the Yellowstone timeline?

bass reeves poster

The Yellowstone universe timeline might sound complicated at first, with all the sequels, prequels, spinoffs, and offshoots, but it’s actually rather straightforward. We have 1883, then 1923, and then Yellowstone, happening in modern-day Montana. So, where does 1883: The Bass Reeves Story fit?

Logically, it’s happening at the same time as the 1883 show but in a different place in the US. It makes sense, considering the real-life Bass Reeves lived from 1838-1910.

Word of another spinoff show called 6666 (read, ‘Four Sixes’) surfaced, and the show will arrive on Paramount Plus sometime in the future (the release date wasn’t set yet). It’s based on a real-life ranch in Texas, which is where the story takes place. 

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Yellowstone fans will remember that the 6666 ranch appeared in the show when Jamie Dutton was sent to work there. That show will likely not include the Duttons, but seeing they are kind of rivals to the Yellowstone Ranch and taking place in the modern day, we could see some connections thrown our way.

Basically, the Yellowstone timeline looks like this:

  • 1883 & 1883: The Bass Reeves Story
  • 1923
  • Yellowstone & 6666

When is 1883: The Bass Reeves Story coming out?

The show was referred to as 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, but it seems that it’ll actually be named only ‘Bass Reeves.’ There’s still no exact release date, but we know that it’s coming in 2023. We’ll keep you updated as new information emerges.

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